An hourglass figure has always been considered as one of the ultimate symbols of feminine beauty. The secret of sculpting it, of course, lies in slimming down the waist, which has repeatedly proved itself as one of the most difficult areas to lose fat from. If a slim waist has been your dream for long but you don’t feel like it’s possible to achieve because it seems like too much work (and let’s be honest, you’re more on the lazy side), don’t worry, you just haven’t found the right workout yet – you’ve probably been reading too much of those articles that praise the fat loss benefits of long, slow cardio sessions or the magical powers of endless series of crunches, and you don’t really think you’ve got the nerves for that.
That doesn’t mean that exists a perfectly easy workout which will give you a flat belly overnight – after all, shredded abs are made in the kitchen. But if you compliment a fat loss diet with the right kind of exercise, you can achieve a lot more than you think. Doing crunches until you can’t stand up straight anymore is not the optimal way to tone your waist, nor are the most popular abs-focused exercises that usually fail to target all muscles that comprise the core and train them in a functional way.
In this article you’ll find a tummy-toning and b**t-firming routine that you can do at home and it will save you countless hours in the gym and a lot of money for fat-burning supplements, as long as you perform it consistently and mind what you eat every day. Still thinking that you’re just too lazy to put in the ‘enormous’ effort required to build the body you want? You might be wrong. Try these five exercises – they take up to 15 minutes to complete, but are guaranteed to deliver visible results in less than a month!
If you start now and perform this routine every day, you will have the slim waist and the bikini-worthy buns you’ve been dreaming of just in time for the summer without even noticing that you’ve worked for it!
This core-strengthening exercise targets the lower abs, obliques, hips and lower back and also strengthens and stabilizes the shoulders.
How to: Lie on your back with your arms palms-down by your sides and straight legs. While keeping your shoulders, arms, neck and head firmly on the floor, squeeze your legs together and lift them upwards towards your head so that your body and your legs create a 45 degree angle. Make sure that only your legs and hips are lifted and your entire upper body rests on the floor and keep your upper thighs and knees together. Then, brace your core and lean your legs to the right side in a controlled and slow manner, contracting your oblique muscles. Take them as far as you can. Hold the position for 2 seconds, then return to the starting position by returning your legs to the center and but without letting them touch the floor. Perform the same movement to the left. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.
#2 Bridge Press
This total-body exercise has all you need as it will effectively work your b**t, thighs, shoulders, abs, chest and triceps all at once.
How to: Lie face-up on the floor with bent knees and flat feet and a dumbbell in each hand resting on your shoulders. Bend your elbows so that your forearms are perpendicular to the floor and the palms of your hands are facing each other. By engaging your core and squeezing your glutes, lift your hips up as far as possible, pushing the body off the mat and into a bridge position and extend the arms towards the ceiling in a pressing motion until they are fully straight. Hold the position for a few seconds, squeezing your b**t and abs, then lower back down to the starting position. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.
#3. Weighted Twists
This simple exercise will boost your core power, work your obliques to the max and improve your overall balance.
How to: Grab a dumbbell, medicine ball or a weight plate and hold it with both hands while sitting on a mat with straight back, bent knees and feet flat on the floor. Your upper body should form an imaginary V-shape with your thighs. Hold the weight straight in front of your chest with arms perpendicular to your torso and clasped hands. Then, explosively twist your torso as far as possible to the left. Make sure to only rotate the torso, while your hips and legs remain stationary. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position and twist your torso as far as possible to the right. Repeat 30 times on each side.
#4. Side Plank
Side planks strengthen your deep abdominal muscles which most exercises fail to target properly and build upper body stamina and endurance.
How to: Sit on the mat on your right side with your legs extended and your feet and hips resting on the ground and stacked on top of each other. Your head should be aligned with your spine. Place your right elbow directly under your shoulder. Brace your core and engage your abs to lift your hips and knees off the floor, extending the right arm, until your body forms a straight line and the arm is perpendicular to the floor. Hold the position for 30 seconds, then return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Perform 15 reps on each side.
#5. Air Swimming
Air swimming builds strength in the b**t and abs while improving muscle balance and coordination. It also provides a great stretch for the entire body, so aim to perform it multiple times throughout the day.
How to: Lie on your stomach with your legs extended with pointed feet and your arms stretched out over your head and palms of the hands on the floor. Slightly separate your legs and get in the superman position by lifting your arms, legs, chest and head up at the same time and hold this position for a few seconds, then begin to alternate lifting your right arm/left leg and left arm/right leg for 30 seconds without touching the floor. As you move your arms and legs, keep your abdominal muscles engaged so that your pelvis and torso do not move side-to-side. At first alternate your arms and legs slowly, and as you get stronger, increase the speed if the movement. Complete 10 sets of 30-second ‘swims’.